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St Paul (KROC AM News) - The state agency in charge of Minnesota’s unemployment assistance program wasted no time in “getting checks in the mail” after the recent federal stimulus bill was signed into law.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development says the federal package included similar benefits that were part of the original 2020 CARES Act.

  • 11 more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program
  • 11 more weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program
  • A $300 per week supplemental payment to anyone receiving unemployment benefits from any program

DEED says its staff processed about 240,000 applicant accounts in time for them to request benefits on Jan. 3. As of Friday morning, these payments totaled about $164 million for the week.

  • Approximately $43.8 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Approximately $43.2 million in Standard Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • Approximately $76.8 million in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC). PUC is the additional $300 dollar benefit to all applicants eligible for at least $1 in PUA, PEUC, and Standard UI Benefits
  • DEED quickly scaled its unemployment insurance operation to meet the increased demand caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

DEED says it received over a million new applications for unemployment insurance during 2020 with payments going out to more than 814,000 individuals compared to 120,000 new applicants in 2019.

Minnesota DEED website
Minnesota DEED website

In 2020, the unemployment insurance program paid $9,680,185,156. Here’s a breakdown of 2020 unemployment insurance payments by program

  • Regular Unemployment Insurance
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC)

Check here for more information.

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